This website provides information on the development of the Republic of Ireland's road network.
It serves as an archive of the progress made in developing a motorway network over the last few decades, and also has updates on new road schemes nationwide.
Details of the current situation are given on the Current Road Programme
The full list of all projects, past, present and future, are on the Full Project List
Below can be found some maps and news items
The rest of the maps are on the Maps
page, and some general miscellaneous information is here.
Finally, the Futures
page has a wishlist of projects that would be useful in the long term.
Note that this is a wishlist and there is no plan to build any of these as of yet.
The N59 Moycullen bypass will open on 11th December, it has been confirmed. The bypass is single carriageway and measures 4.3 km.
Astonishingly, according to the article the bypass received planning permission in 2012 but did not start construction until January 2022.
It has been confirmed that the 7 km Adare bypass element of the M21/N69 Limerick-Foynes scheme is to go ahead soon as a standalone project, in time for the Ryder Cup golf tournament in 2027. This part of the scheme will cost €150 million. It looks like the balance of the scheme (to Rathkeale and Foynes) will take place in parallel, but will be completed some time after 2027.
Meanwhile farmers affected by the scheme have been complaining.
Stephen Keary, a councillor for the local district, believes that a "goodwill payment" was due to the landowners which is being negotiated in the background:
According to Limerick City and County Council (LCCC), the council issued the notice to treat (NTT) on all lands that form part of the Foynes to Limerick (Including Adare Bypass) Project in August.
The part about the Ryder Cup is not accurate. He makes it sound like the bypass is only for a 3-day event, but the town has needed a bypass for over 40 years and will have one forever once it is built, with the balance of the scheme as follow-on project.
"The way they’re treating us now is similar to what Cromwell did in the 1650s, giving people the opportunity to go to hell or to Connacht. I'm not going to hell or to Connacht and I'm going to stay put," he added.
"This is only to facilitate the Ryder Cup... As far as I am concerned the building of this road is to support the development of the port of Foynes. If it's only for Adare village, forget about it, I wouldn’t have it as a priority, it’s only a three-day event."
A timeline for the Donegal TEN-T projects has been announced, with the roads all expected to be open within the next 8 years. This would put the opening year at 2031. The projects, which are on the N13, N14, N15 and N56, are shown in the article in an accompanying map.
The latest video on the M28 shows the advanced site preparation that is taking place.
A contract has been signed for stages 5-7 of the project which covers tender documents, procurement, construction, and close out.
The future corridor of the M20 Limerick-Cork motorway has been refined, with the width now 200 metres. It will be further reduced next year. The location of interchanges for Mallow and Charleville is also being finalised now. It is expected that a planning application will be lodged by the end of 2024. The most recent timeline for construction is from 2027-2031. This new road is badly needed as with 17 fatalities between 2011 and 2018, that makes around 2 deaths a year and 4 serious injuries. The official announcement on all this is here.
Additionally there will be rail improvements:
Iarnrod Eireann has also been asked to consider a "no change hourly service" between both cities in an effort to improve rail links, which it is believed will increase demand for train transport to and from both locations.
All of this can be seen on the scheme website by clicking Interactive Mapping.
The third and final section of the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney dual carriageway opened on 6th Nov.
This completes the 22 km project which has been planned for decades.
The road can be seen on OpenStreetMap.
There are several press articles, and a flythrough video.
Finally, here is a video showing a timelapse of the construction of the "Deep Cut" section in the far western part of the scheme, where a river bridge is immediately followed by a deep cutting through a hill.
At 3:38 there is a long shot of this.
In the latest video of the Dunkettle Interchange project, most movements are now complete.
The exceptions are N25 Westbound mainline where one lane is coned off due to reconstruction, and N25 Westbound to M8 Northbound ramp which is still substantially unfinished.
The start of the latter is visible at 1:44, where a blue motorway sign with greyed out text can be seen, and the end is at 3:11.
Work to tie in to the M8 here has not even started.
In addition there is still work to be done on N40 Tunnel Northbound to N25 City Westbound as not all of the new lane is open (2:56), and much tidying needs to be done where old movements have been removed, such as at 3:47.
The interchange has some issues that seem substandard.
From 0:37-0:48 you can see how M8 Southbound traffic wishing to head N25 Eastbound peels off the M8 on a single lane ramp only to join with two other lanes - but motorists would then need to switch to the middle lane in order to reach their destination.
If they stay in the same lane, they exit to the new Little Island West junction.
Worse, the eastbound diverge from N25 Westbound to Tunnel merges 3 lanes into 1.
This has to be done as there's only room for 1 lane to enter the tunnel (the other is for M8 Southbound to N40 Tunnel) but it is already causing problems.
You can see the merge spot at 2:22 in the video but all the slow moving traffic from 0:45-1:15 and 4:35-4:50 is due to this issue.
The project is due to open in February 2024.
Today it was confirmed by the Government that the Adare Bypass element of the M21/N69 Limerick-Foynes scheme will be accelerated in order to get it finished by September 2027 when the Ryder Cup makes it to Adare, Limerick.
It's not clear what the timeframe for the rest of the project is.
There has been uncertainty recently around roads funding, with some sources saying the National Development Plan is now underfunded due to high inflation which is particularly high for construction costs. However seemingly infrastructural spending has recently been topped up. This means, amongst other things, that the new N4 Mullingar-Rooskey road is now expected to move to route selection in 2024:
"Longford / Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Joe Flaherty has welcomed an additional €900m in infrastructural funding and believes it will ensure that the planned N4 (Mullingar to Rooskey) upgrade proceeds to route selection in 2024.
The additional funding is to aid the delivering of the National Development Plan, which includes the N4 upgrade."
The final stage of the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney scheme will open on Monday 6th.
This is the culmination of many, many years of planning, design and construction.
Locals will be glad this is over!
"Work has been ongoing on the bypass since January 2020.
The first section of the road opened to traffic in December 2022, with the second section opening in August 2023."
The N78 Athy Southern Bypass opened on 31st October.
This single carriageway road will take through traffic out of Athy, allowing M9 motorists to avoid the town centre.
According to the article, the first bit of land purchased for this was in 1960.
Planning for the 18 km Galway Ring Road has been resubmitted. Previously this was granted permission, but the permission was quashed because the planning board did not take into account the government's Climate Action Plan.
The article does not go into detail (as it may not be available) as to what changes have been made to the application. It will need to address the issues that caused the quashing the first time around.
The M11 Oylegate-Rosslare project may be delayed a little due to the new requirement that all motorways now need to have a service area every 30 km. Previously this was every 50 km.
The Irish Government in the budget for 2024 has established a Sovereign Wealth Fund and an Infrastructure, Climage and Nature Fund.
The latter can be used to fund infrastructure projects when there is a general funding shortfall during economic downturns.
This is great news for the funding security of major road (and rail!) projects coming up in the next few years.
The establishment of such a fund is an idea that has been floated for many years and would have been especially useful after the 2008 economic crisis.
In the wake of this, funding was withdrawn for all spending except essential services resulting in infrastructure projects having to be cancelled and later restarted, meaning that money spent so far was wasted and adding years to the project lifecycle.
Tempers are flaring over the slow progress of road building under a Green Minister for Transport.
The chief executive of TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland), Peter Walsh, has come straight out and accused Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan of intentionally holding up road projects:
"Peter Walsh, its chief executive, clearly outlined how the transport minister has put a set of green handcuffs on its road-building programme at the Oireachtas transport committee last week.
It has been announced that the Adare Bypass element of the N21/N69 Limerick-Foynes road project will be prioritised in order to be ready in 2027 in time for the Ryder Cup:
Ryan has given the TII the funding to complete roads which are already under construction ... But his advisers have found a clever way for him to long-finger the projects using a little-known section of road traffic legislation. Section 24 of the roads act allows Ryan to set down “conditions as he sees fit” on how TII uses its road funding.
But due to the conditions set down by Ryan, TII cannot advance any of these ten road projects towards construction.
"Locally, Tim Fitzgerald, a senior engineer responsible for the project has told councillors the seven-kilometre section of the road from Attyflynn to Croagh, which is ostensibly the bypass of Adare, will be the priority."
The remainder of the road will probably open the following year or shortly thereafter.
Note that the end of the article erroneously speculates that passengers will also be able to use the railway line which is currently being rehabilitated and brought back into use:
"The potential of trains being ready raises the prospect of cruise ships arriving into Foynes and its passengers then travelling by rail to Adare Manor for the Ryder Cup."
There are no plans to have passenger services on it, only freight.
The opening of the final 6 km section of the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney scheme has been pushed back to early November.
The deep cuttings, impressive civil engineering and dramatic landscape of this scheme are clearly visible in the latest drone video.
The 100-metre wide route corridors for the N21 Abbeyfeale and Newcastlewest bypasses will be announced by the end of the year, in "November or December".
It is hoped that a planning application will be lodged in 2024.
The "TEN-T Projects" in Donegal have appeared in the media recently.
The projects are:
- N15/N13 Ballybofey and Stranorlar
- N56/N13 Letterkenny to Manorcunningham (note this also includes the N56 Letterkenny Bypass)
- N14 Manorcunningham to Lifford
The article reveals that the government's new Public Spending Code and Common Appraisal Framework for Transport Projects and Programmes constitute new red tape that seem to be slowing the projects down.
However it is anticipated that the projects will move to CPO by the end of the year.
The N59 Moycullen bypass will open no later than 22nd November.
This single carriageway road measures 4.3 km and will free up the Galway village for local use by removing through traffic and making it safer.
The N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge single carriageway road scheme has been approved by Government and will now move to construction.
This has also been reported in the local news.
With this project, the N5 will essentially be complete, as there are no more planned road upgrade projects on the corridor.
It will take 4 years to build and is 34 km long. The existing route is also 34 km.
Astonishingly, the cost has now more than doubled to €450 million, up from €194 million reported in the recent past.
Explaining the eye-watering cost (though it isn't clear what exactly is included in the €450 million figure), Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan explains that inflationary pressures are becoming extreme and projects across all sectors are seeing huge cost increases. This doesn't bode well for other big infrastructure investments that the Government is planning soon.
The main construction contract for M28 Cork-Ringsaskiddy has gone to tender.
The time limit is November of this year so things are certainly gaining momentum here.
Here is the latest drone footage of the N22 Ballyvourney section of the Macroom-Ballyvourney project.
This final section will open later this month.
This spectacular drone footage on the website of the R494 and Killaloe Bypass shows the progress the project is making.
This is not on a national (trunk) route but is major in terms of cost and the strategic nature of the route.
Killaloe is a popular tourist town and is the first River Shannon crossing south of Lough Derg.
It is used to get from Nenagh and the N7 to Ennis and County Clare.
The final 5 kilometres of the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney scheme, the Ballyvourney Bypass, is pencilled in for an opening on October 27 according to an article in the media.
Although the article is from Aug 10, the fact that the temporary speed limit will be lifted on that date would strongly suggest that that is the opening date.
The scheme, which had been planned for many decades, will then be complete.
On this news feed on 06/08/2022, the Department of Public Expenditure announced start and end dates for several major motorway projects over the next few years.
Recently they have announced the update on progress, and it is good to say that the dates are the same so there has been no slippage.
The next events for the projects are:
M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy: Approval Gate 2 - Pre-tender Approval (PDF page 29) with main contractor procurement in Q3 2023.
The M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick is still expected to start construction in 2027 and be completed in 2031, and to cost north of €1 billion.
It is also heartening to see the cost confirmed in the billion euro range, after it was erroneously stated by the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan that the project could cost up to 3 billion.
M21/N69 Limerick-Foynes: Approval Gate 2 - Pre-tender Approval (PDF page 28) with main contractor procurement in Q3 2023.
N6/M6 Galway Bypass: Approval Gate 2 - Pre-tender Approval (PDF page 27) with main contractor procurement in Q1 2025.
M20 Cork-Limerick: Approval Gate 1 - Approval in Principle (PDF page 26) with main contractor procurement in Q4 2025.
The M20 will likely be the last motorway built in Ireland, or at least the last with a significant length.
The exact start and end points are Patrickswell, Limerick and Blarney, Cork (with its famous stone), giving the new road a length of 75-80 km.
The M28 Motorway has been confirmed as starting in early 2025 but not finishing until 2030.
This build time is implausibly long unless they are intentionally stretching this project out, or there is messy traffic management involved.
However the Dunkettle interchange is messy too and will only be a 3 1/4-year build when done.
The N6/M6 Galway Bypass is a surprising inclusion as it is now unlikely that the scheme will proceed on environmental grounds.
The M21 Adare Bypass is on track.
N52 Ardee Bypass has been subjected to an unusual amount of delay and is now scheduled to be built from 2026-2028.
This was missed a few months ago but the PIN (Prior Information Notice) for the M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy project was published in June. Here is a link to the PIN.
These alert the construction industry to the upcoming tender so that they can assess it for suitability and prepare a response when the actual tender is issued.
Pre-qualification of contractors should commence soon. Thankfully it looks like we are still on track for a 2024 Q4 start date for the main works.
It can be seen in the PIN that the 1.5 km single carriageway element of the project, which runs around Ringaskiddy itself, is a separate element which will have its own tender issued:
"Construction of the roadworks will be delivered in two contracts, one of which is the last 1.5km from Barnahely to Ringaskiddy and it is the intention of the Contracting Authority that this section will go to tender in the coming months."
This doesn't seem like a big deal as that is a very small element which can perhaps start later and still be ready on time for the completion of the main motorway element, which measures 10.4 kilometres.
There was also supposed to be an MSA (Motorway Services Area) built as part of this, but there is no timeline for that and it can be opened independently.
The scheme is a Core Route in the EU's TEN-T (Trans European Networks) which makes it eligible for EU funding.
It can be seen on the map here by clicking North Sea/Mediterranean.
Pre-construction on the scheme continues apace with minor works such as wall realignment at Maryborough.
The occasional archaeological discovery is made such as this neolithic house.
These don't delay a project as these works are a standard part of the works programme. The site is thoroughly documented and if finds are made, anything worth keeping is removed.
When done the construction crews move in and the area is dismantled or buried.
The N11/M11 improvements have been split into two schemes, N11/M11 Junction 4 to Junction 14 Improvement Scheme (J4-J14 Scheme) and N11/M11 Bus Priority Interim Scheme (BPIS).
The former is now stalled in the planning process, which has ruffled a few feathers.
It appears the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has directly intervened. The BPIS continues to make progress, however.
The Preferred Route for the BPIS has been published.
On page 7, details of the latest version of the Preferred Option are shown.
Detailed aerial maps can be found on the Information Drawings.
Note that these drawings include the changes that are part of the J4-J14 Scheme including junction changes.
As previously noted, these latter elements are currently stalled in the planning process.
- The Bray Bypass J4-J6 will have its hard shoulders converted to bus lanes.
- J6-J7 will have hard shoulder bus lanes and an offline 2-way active travel route (i.e. pedestrian and cyclist facility).
- J7-J8 will have northbound bus lane only, parallel service lane southbound and active travel route.
- J8-J9 will have northbound bus and active travel route.
Some further openings of elements of the Dunkettle Interchange have taken place.
The most notable is the Tunnel -> M8 movement, which looks abrupt.
This video takes you up to it from inside the tunnel, though the actual slip is at 4:01.
However it does seem likely that when the temporary barriers visible at 3:59 are removed that there will be a longer entrance slip to the new movement which should improve things somewhat.
A spanner may have been thrown in the works on the M11/N25 Olyegate-Rosslare motorway, as a new requirement will mean that an MSA Motorways Services Area will have to be provided on the new route:
"The planned Oylegate to Rosslare Europort stretch of motorway will be delayed due to a new requirement for a large services area along the route.
Speaking at the September Wexford County Council meeting, Director of Services for Roads, Eamonn Hore confirmed the news, saying that previously services had to be located within 80kms of each other, but under a new requirement, they must be located within 50kms.
Mr Hore said a guide document is being released which will insist on a fully stocked services station along the route."
Additionally a requirement for an active travel route through Wexford town (a new requirement on all significant new builds) may add further delay.
The full scheme will receive some EU funding as it is a Comprehensive Route in TEN-T and a section of Euroroute E-01.
A section measuring around 8 km of the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney road opened to traffic on the 11th August (apologies for delay in updating as I was away).
Maps of the West End, East End.
The section joins the unopened Ballyvourney Bypass and the opened Macroom Bypass.
This segment replaces a very low standard of N22 which was very twisty and dangerous.
It also entailed the removal of a temporary roundabout at the eastern terminus at Carrigaphooca Bridge which had been provided since the opening of the Macroom Bypass section last December.
This was in order to allow the west end of the town bypass to be accessed by traffic until this new segment was ready.
Some locals had protested against that removal; but the roundabout was demolished anyway.
Two fly-throughs of the new section can be seen on Youtube:
Right before opening,
Note the tailback of traffic at the end of the opened section as it must rejoin the existing low-standard road.
The Ballyvourney Bypass is now the final part to be opened to traffic, which is expected at the end of October.
Great news for the M21 Adare-Foynes scheme in Limerick. It has been announced that Notices to Treat to the affected landowners have been issued. From the article:
Welcoming the confirmation that Notices to Treat were posted this Monday, Minister for State and Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick county Niall Collins commented:
"Following the recent withdrawal of judicial review proceedings which then allowed full planning permission to be granted, the next step is the issue of Notices to Treat to landowners. This is a major step forward in the project process and this allows negotiations on the purchase of the properties required to build the new road."
Once land has been compulsorily purchased, and the tender granted to a contruction company, construction can start.
It is looking like this will happen in 2025 or 2026.
A note on the process of road building in general in Ireland.
It was recently admitted by TII that the length of time for a road project to go from proposal to opening to the public has now increased to 15 years.
The time frames for the various stages that they pass through are listed on page 8 of this document which was released recently, and they can be summarised as follows:
Scope and pre-appraisal: 1-2 years
Concept & Feasibility, Options Selection, Design and Evaluation: 2-3 years
Statutory Processes, Enabling and Procurement: 2-5 years
Construction & Implementation, Close Out and Review: 3-5 years
Some of the increases in time are due to much-welcomed improvements in the Public Spending Code which are intended to prevent cost overruns, to avoid nasty surprises along the way and to enable a project to be fully costed as it passes through the project stages.
However these seem to have increased the amount of red tape which slows the process down.
Some would argue this is intentional when you are trying to subject an expensive project to a greater level of public scrutiny, but it looks like Ireland is going to continue to be behind other countries when it comes to the building of infrastructure as it seems to be so hard to get on with it in a timely manner.
The latest news on the long-delayed N5 Strokestown-Ballaghderreen road in the west of Ireland is that it is expected that it will go to tender this September.
It is expected to take 2-3 years to build once underway.
The N59 Moycullen Bypass is making great progress and it is expected that it will see traffic in October.
There is a permanent new layout for traffic travelling on M8 south to Cork City Centre through the Dunkettle interchange.
This video graphically illustrates this with a flythrough.
Traffic previously used the old roundabout so this new arrangement, which involves having to drive to the next junction over and making a U-turn, may take some getting used to.
The next large new road opening in Ireland will be the second phase of the Macroom-Ballyvourney scheme, which runs from west of Macroom to Ballyvourney, a distance of thirteen and a half kilometres.
It has been indicated that this is now anticipated in August, probably Aug 11th.
The latest update on the M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy project is as follows.
- Prequalification of contractors will commence in August.
- Construction is due to commence in Q4 2024, subject to PSC Gate 3 and Cabinet approval.
It should be noted that with a Green Minister for Transport who has made it very clear that he is opposed to large road projects, getting the project through gates may be more difficult than usual.
Watch this space.
At the Dunkettle Interchange project, the latest video indicates a slew of new links opening up simultaneously.
Note that now the permanent arrangement in order to get from the M8 to Cork City Centre is that you will have to head to the Little Island interchange in order to do a U-turn and come back in the direction of the city.
Meanwhile, Youtuber DroneHawk has captured some chaos happening as a result of the large-scale of reorganisation of the road network in the area.
Some motorists have taken the law into their own hands!
The remainder of the Westport-Castlebar dual carriageway opened today.
The length of the section is 10 km and it runs from west of Castlebar to Westport.
The Castlebar section opened in April.
This completes Mayo's first dual carriageway, and the scheme is fairly high quality with several grade-separated junctions.
The scheme also includes the opening of a single carriageway northern bypass of the town of Westport.
Here are some reposted photos from Mayo County Council, and a drone video.
RTE has provided some reportage on the opening, with some negativity about trifling issues.
By the end of year, work is expected to begin on another N5 scheme - the beleaguered Scramogue-Ballaghaderreen section, which was started previously but the construction company went bust.
This project will be a 35 km single carriageway replacement of a very poor section of the N5.
When this is completed, most of the N5 will have been replaced - with much of the improvement in the last 15 years alone.
Great news on the M21 Adare-Foynes scheme!
The three Judicial Reviews that were launched against the scheme last autumn (2022) have been dropped following discussions between the councils and the applicants.
This development in the case now frees the project to proceed to the next stage in its delivery.
Here is drone footage of the N69 Listowel bypass.
It is still on track to be completed in early 2024.
The preferred route for the N3 Viginia bypass has been announced according to the press.
As anticipated, it follows the existing road closely, passing north of the town.
There will be a junction there to provide access to the town centre.
The route can be seen by zooming in on Cavan on this map.
The scheme is due to be completed by 2031, therefore should start in 2028 or 2029.
With the opening of the Castlebar bypass in April, the focus is on opening to traffic the Castlebar-Westport part including hopefully the Westport Northern Bypass.
It has been reported in the media that this opening will take place on June 15th.
This will be the only dual carriageway in Mayo.
A scandal is brewing with recent commentary by the Green Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan indicating the the N17 Charlestown-Collooney dual carriageway will "not be funded for many years".
The media are furious about it, as these articles indicate.
The 55 km road (40 km of improvements, the rest reusing the existing route) is in the NDP (National Development Plan) and it should not be possible for a single minister to unilaterally cancel one of its schemes like this.
Watch this space.
On 26th April, a 10 km section of N5, the Castlebar Bypass, opened to traffic.
This youtube video is a detailed overview including the N84 and N60 junctions.
As of today, Google Maps is still not updated, however.
The remaining 10 km of the scheme as far as Westport is due to open some time in June.
This is the first dual carriageway to open in Mayo.
The latest video on the Dunkettle Interchange project indicates that many link roads are nearing completion and must open soon.
The entire project is still due to be completed in early 2024.
It has been a long-running saga, but the N5 Castlebar-Westport scheme will see the Castlebar Bypass element opening on 26th April.
The road was recently driven on by US president Joe Biden and his cavalcade as they visited the area.
It seems they were the first non-construction traffic to use the new stretch.
Mayo Live reported straight away that Councillor Mark Duffy suggested the road be named after the US's top man.
Since the rest of the scheme had its opening date pushed out, there is now no longer an opening date to guide by, but the project team are guiding for early June.
At this stage it would be better to wait until an opening is less than a fortnight away so it will be a certainty!
The N17 Claremorris Lisduff Interchange opened on 3rd March.
This grade-separates a major road junction east of Claremorris and is a big safety improvement.
Although not yet visible in aerial imagery, the works can be seen in Google Streetview.
Although previously planned to open in stages, the N5 Castlebar-Westport scheme is now going to open in its entirety in April with an official ribbon-cutting in May.
However, it seems that the Westport northern bypass section will probably not be part of this opening, as it still is not paved.
Castlebar to the roundabout east of Castlebar will likely be the extent of the planned opening.
There is no funding or progress for the N52 Tullamore-Kilbeggan upgrade, with the Green Minister for Transport stating that the road could be 10-15 years away.
This is probably because the improvement is entirely due to high levels of traffic and not for safety reasons, which are enough to cancel it in the eyes of the Green Party.
The Traffic Counts have been updated for 2021 and 2022.
The post-pandemic rebound can be clearly seen nationwide, though levels are still marginally below 2019.
Traffic on the M50 has reached astonishing heights. At Cloverhill, between the N4 and N7 junctions, the count is now 151,000 vehicles per day, and the whole way between Ballymun and Lucan is above 140k.
On Monday, the High Court officially quashed planning permission for the Galway Bypass project.
In a mystifying move, Galway City Council is going to re-submit its planning application in such a way that it still complies with the government's Climate Action Plan.
It is hard to see how this could lead to anything other than more years of delays, litigation and deadlock.
From the RTE article:
Permission for the 18km route was cancelled last October after it emerged that An Bord Pleanála had failed to consider the State's Climate Action Plan before granting approval in November 2021.
The plan, detailing how carbon emissions will be reduced by 51% by 2030, was published just days before the decision to grant permission for the N6 Galway City Ring Road.
It should have been factored into the process.
Now, the proposal is to go back before the board.
However, instead of having to go through the entire planning process once more, the project will be reviewed from the point at which the Inspector’s report on the application was first submitted to the planning board.
The Minister for Transport, Green Minister Eamon Ryan, has immediately dismissed this idea:
"It's vital that all our transport plans deliver the 50pc reduction in emissions we need this decade and go net zero in three [decades]," he said.
"The National Transport Authority, the local authority and our department are going to have to look at a new transport strategy for Galway that meets that climate target.
You can’t just go ahead and build roads that have an induced traffic system that means you can’t meet the climate targets.
So the plans for Galway are going to have to change. The exact elements of that, the combination of new public transport and other infrastructure, will be the outcome of that process."
This RTE piece has a 20-minute deep-dive on the issues.
Galway Chamber of Commerce claims the city's reputation is at risk.
Finally, Galway West Deputy Eamon O'Cuiv, clearly getting desperate, is calling for critical infrastructure projects to be excluded from Government emission targets.
He claims the government's climate policy is incoherent.
This city project is a textbook example of pitting road construction against public transportation, a futile battle because both must be accommodated in appropriate amounts.
In other news, the preferred route corridor has been announced for N17 Collooney-Knock. The map can be explored at the link. Here is a rundown:
From the Collooney end, a short section of the existing road will be upgraded by widening.
From there Ballynacarrow will be bypassed closely to the north.
The new road will pass Tobercurry a fair distance, about 2 km, to the north and west.
It will then run to the east of Charlestown and somewhat surprisingly is planned to intersect the N5 very close to the existing N5/N17 junction, which is grade-separated.
Since the new road will need to be grade separated too, it's not clear if two separate but close junctions will be built or if one new merged junction will be provided.
The old N17 here will not see much traffic after the new one is built so maybe the existing slips could be removed entirely and no access provided.
That would clear the way for the new road to have all the slips - and it looks like four sets of two would be needed since both the new N17 and the N5 shouldn't have median breaks or at least traffic should be prevented from turning across the opposing lane.
South of there, the new alignment ends at Knock Airport.
The scheme section from the airport to Knock has been dropped and the existing route is now only marked as "maintained" rather than improved.
This is a pity, as although the road has been improved in the last few decades, it is still not a very high standard.
The total length of road that will be improved is now 40 kilometres.
Regarding the road width, there is no news on whether this will be a dual carriageway or a single.
Although it was described as a dual some years ago, a Green Minister for Transport coupled with recent decisions to reduce the scale of other schemes (e.g. N2 Slane Bypass) means that this road may now only be built as a single carriageway.
This would still represent a game-changing improvement from its current standard, however.
In terms of timescale, it has been announced that there could be 4 phases for this road, so it could take over a decade to deliver in full.
Presumably a priority will be the Tobercurry bypass phase.
More detail has been announced on the plan for the N2 Slane Nypass.
The article shows a diagram of the public realm improvements that are planned for the existing bridge and streets.
Footpaths will be widened, the road carriageways narrowed and new green spaces added.
A planning application is expected to be lodged for the bypass in the first half of 2023 according to previous reportage.
The beleaguered N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue project could restart in June 2023, according to this article from last month.
The scheme was awarded to a contractor last year but sadly the outfit went into receivership and the contract was terminated.
It usually takes up to a year for a scheme to be retendered and awarded again - this is what happened with the M8/N25/N40 Dunkettle Interchange project in Cork.
A more exact routing for the N24 Cahir-Limerick Junction scheme has been released.
The project would run from M8 Junction 10 west to Oola beside Limerick Junction railway station and features a bypass of Tipperary Town.
If built, the new road would replace by far the lowest-standard section of the N24.
The rest of the N24 from Oola to Limerick is straight with good sightlines, and from N24 to Waterford has many bypassed sections but the bypasses (especially Clonmel) tend to be of low quality.
There has been commentary from Eamon Ryan, the Minster for Transport, that the Tipperary Town bypass element may be prioritised over the rest of the project, but that is speculative for now.
It has been reported that three judicial reviews have been lodged against the M21 Adare-Foynes motorway project.
Based on what happened with the M28 project in Cork, these cases can be expected to add 2-3 years before construction can begin.
It was due to begin in 2 years (2025) so this target may be missed.
The target to have the scheme ready for the Ryder Cup in Adare by 2027 will probably not be met, but this event was never the most important factor at play.
There have been plans to bypass Adare for decades.
The Castlebar section of the new N5 will open at the end of January, with the remainder of the scheme by April, as reported in the news.
Here is the latest update on the Dunkettle Interchange project.
It mostly focuses on the eastern segment of the scheme where the new Little Island interchange has been formed.
An interchange will be built at the Tower Road junction at Piltown, Co. Kilkenny.
This should take around 12 months to construct based on previous schemes.
There was an increase in the number of road fatalities nationwide in 2022, with 155 deaths compared with 137 fatalities in 2021.
This is as reported by the RSA.
Any increase is regrettable but this still compares well historically and the figure was 158 as recently as 2017.
Over the decades the rate has fallen by nearly 70% from figures in the high 400s in the 1990s.
Most fatalities were males and most were in rural areas.
The 8 km Macroom Bypass opened in Cork on 9th Dec.
This bypass was promised for decades and it has been a long slow road to get to this point.
Construction has taken nearly 3 years, having kicked off in January 2020.
The project offered numerous geographical and geological barriers.
Some videos are available on Twitter: the official ribbon cutting ceremony, and a drive-through.
The remaining 14 kilometres of the scheme were previously estimated to be open within 6 months but the RTE article states this is envisaged for 2024 now.
The first stage of a big upgrade of the M11/N11 in Wicklow now has its details established on a scheme website.
There will be bus lanes both ways from Loughlinstown roundabout on the N11 at Shankill as far south as Junction 6.
There will be a northbound bus lane from Junction 8 to 9 which will involve the closure of accesses to residential dwellings, which will be diverted to the side road network.
There will be an active travel lane (walking and cycling) southbound on that stretch.
A graphical mock-up of the to-be scenario appears on Board 06 of the Banners document, and detailed design diagrams on pages 9-12 on the Drawings (aerial photos) document.
The works area is also drawn on the Map Viewer.
A number of new movements are possible at Dunkettle Interchange in Cork, as new slips opened on 20th Nov.
A fly-through video of the area has been uploaded by Drone Hawk.
After much speculation on the subject, a major change has been announced to the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney project.
A temporary roundabout will be constructed during November to enable a part comprising an 8 km bypass of Macroom to open on December 9 of this year in time for Christmas.
This is as reported in the media.
The location of the temporary roundabout will not have permanent access in the final arrangement, so the measure will only be use by traffic until the rest of the road is completed some time next year.
Once it is all open, there will be a Macroom North junction and a Macroom South junction.
The next junction will be far to the west on the way to Ballyvourney.
Note that as of now, the aerial imagery of the junction location is many years out of date, so the construction line of the new road cannot yet be seen.
Two judicial reviews have been launched against the M21 Adare-Rathkeale-Foynes scheme.
The reviews simply mean that the granted planning permission is being challenged for legality by the public.
There are no details yet on who lodged them or why.
It has gotten to the point in Ireland that this type of legal challenge has simply become par for the course for major road schemes.
It may take a year or two but since construction on the project was not due to begin until around 2025, it may not even delay the project's start date.
The preferred route for N2 Ardee-Castleblayney has been made available on a GIS site.
The scheme incorporates the 2005 Carrickmacross bypass, which will be dualled, and 6 new grade-separated junctions will be provided.
Two existing junctions at Carrickmacross will be modified and expanded.
Planning permission for the highly controversial M6 Galway Bypass has been quashed (annulled), as reported in the media.
The case was taken by Friends of the Irish Environment and An Bord Pleanala (Irish Planning Board) conceded that they had granted permission without taking into account the government's latest Climate Action Plan, which had been published a mere 4 days previously.
The Board will now re-examine the planning application in the light of the Climate Plan.
There is no certainty the road will ever be built as inflation in the construction sector is so high and there is no doubt this road will facilitate car use in the city of Galway, which is against national policy.
Separately there is a Bus Connects plan for Galway which will see the reorganisation of the city's bus system and the provision of bus and cycle lanes.
A wondrous drone video of the M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway project shows the archaeology work that has taken place along the route - the digging of test trenches and completion of fencing and moving of utilities.
The scheme is on track to start construction in 2024.
The beleaguered N5 Scramoge-Ballaghaderreen single-carriageway road scheme will be retendered on Dec 22.
Hopefully it will restart (more accurately just "start") some time next year.
Recent reportage speculated that the delay could last to the end of next year, however.
The large difference in progress on the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney scheme seen between the Macroom Bypass (section 1) and the rest of the scheme (section 2) can be seen in recent drone videos.
At this time, Stage 1 is surely ready for an early opening if they could manage a temporary tie-in somehow.
No announcement to this effect has been made yet however.
Here are some video drone updates on the Dunkettle scheme and the Macroom scheme.
The first half of the M8/N25/N40 Dunkettle video focuses on the local road network coming together to the northeast of the interchange, and the new flyover at Little Island.
Later on in the video the southern half of the area is covered.
The very end shows the place where there is currently an offslip from the roundabout into an industrial area right in front of the tunnel entrance.
From the layout of the new roads, it looks like this will be removed soon.
The Macroom video features some of the usual (from that drone operator) exciting flybys with the drone entering underpasses and culverts.
The latest news is that the eastern part of this new road will open before the west.
When dates are available they will be announced here.
And now for a timelapse video of the N3 Snugborough Interchange project.
The concrete beams for the second bridge are lifted into position at night, as a series of long flatbed trucks queue up, each with 2 or 3 beams aboard.
Closure of a carriageway was needed each time, but the bridge is now structurally complete and only needs paving and finishing works.
This video on the N5/N59 Castlebar-Westport scheme shows the advanced state of construction in the eastern half of the project and the primitive state of the western part, and especially north of Westport.
Latest news is that the N5 segment may open first with the N59 single carriageway north of Westport delayed to later.
Updates on the M4 Maynooth-Leixlip improvement scheme have been made available on the dedicated portal website.
Some improvement options have now been discounted and are off the table.
- Widening to 6 lanes with bus lanes
- Improving Junction 7 Maynooth and building a new junction immediately to the west
- Closing J7 Maynooth, converting to overbridge and building a new junction to the west and a new junction to the east
- Parallel single carriageway road closely following the motorway
The options that are still in play are:
- Adding bus lanes with no widening
- Adding bus lanes and widening from 2 to 3 lanes outbound (westbound)
- Improving J7 Maynooth
- Closing J7 Maynooth, converting to overbridge and building a new junction to the west
- Improving J6 Celbridge
- Improving existing overbridges
The M21/N69 Adare Bypass/Foynes road has cleared planning permission after nearly 3 years awaiting a decision.
The process was subject to endless delays and the deadline for a decision was repeatedly pushed out, which was strongly criticised by business and political leaders.
"The development will include around 15.6km of dual carriageway between Foynes and Rathkeale along with more than 17Km of motorway between Rathkeale and the existing motorway network at Attyflin near Patrickswell."
There have been plans for an Adare bypass for decades.
The scheme will create a new motorway, M21, and in conjunction with the new N69, there will be a whole new road between Limerick and its port at Foynes.
A map of the scheme can be found on the M21 page on this site.
The M20 motorway project between Limerick and Cork is moving one more step along, with the announcement that the tender for archaeological services has been released.
The project will involve building a motorway along the line of the existing N20 from north of Croom, Limerick to Blarney in Cork, and improvements to Limerick (Rail) Junction to enable zero-change railway journeys between the two cities.
Additionally there will be 80 kilometres of walking and cycling improvements in the villages and towns along the route.
The Government have put out Prospects 2022 - Ireland's Major Infrastructure Pipeline which contains expected start dates and costings for major road projects.
Sadly, only 4 major schemes (i.e. costing more than 20 million euro and therefore requiring ministerial/cabinet signoff) are due to start by end 2027, which is more than a 5-year period.
The good news is that all 4 are very large:
- N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy (this will be a motorway): 2024-2028
- N21/N69 Limerick to Adare to Foynes (this will be a motorway): 2025-2028
- Galway City Ring Road (not confirmed that this will be a motorway): 2026-2029
- M20 Cork-Limerick (a motorway) : 2027-2031
So from 2024 to 2027 there will be one motorway or near-motorway construction start per year.
It's worth noting that these will likely be the last motorways to ever be constructed in Ireland as no more are planned at this time.
Previously it was announced that the new N5 Castlebar-Westport scheme, which had been due to open in October of this year, was delayed to Q2 2023.
This has now been refined to 18 April 2023, according to TII board minutes.
The N17 Knock-Collooney scheme will have a preferred route published in October.
This is after several delays. As it is a long scheme and will be dual carriageway, it will be constructed in segments.
Hopefully the northern half is first as it is currently very low standard.
The latest M8/N40/N25 Dunkettle interchange video showcases the significant progress made so far.
In particular at 6:00 and 8:10 the complex merge/diverge between M8 and N25 onto N25 Eastbound can be seen to take shape.
These merges will join the N25 eastbound at this point but a lane will also diverge to the new Little Island Interchange.
The latter's overbridge can be seen to be structurally complete with only paving to be done.
In a similar way to how the N17 southeast of Claremorris is having a new junction installed to replace dangerous side accesses, the N5 Swinford bypass is planned to have the same.
Two new "bridges" as the journalist calls them, which hopefully will be full grade-separated junctions allowing exit and entrance in both directions, are to be built on the route.
This is to address safety concerns as the locations are accident blackspots.
The bypass was originally built in 1996.